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  • Writer's pictureRayah Levy, FCD Invest President

The GIA Diamond Clarity Plotting Diagram Explained

We work exclusively with GIA reports for all of our diamonds. We do this because the GIA has set the industry standard and is the most recognized brand when it comes to education and diamond grading. Having a GIA report also allows us to properly insure investment assets for the highest values because a diamond grading report from a respected independent grading laboratory such as GIA is the best way to be sure that you're getting an unbiased assessment of your diamond’s quality.

There is so much information offered in a GIA report! Today, we are discussing the section outlined in red below - Clarity Characteristics in the Diamond Clarity Plotting Diagram. The cool thing about this section is that it is truly custom to each diamond. If your diamond is emerald cut (rectangle), the shape you see here will be emerald - or heart, oval, and so on.

The section outlines what the characteristics are, plots out various symbols where you would find imperfections throughout your diamond, and offers a symbol to help readers understand what each drawing means.

We’ve blown up the section for easier reading below. The marks included in the image below are a Crystal (solid circle), Cloud (dotted circle), Feather (squiggly line), and Needle (straight line).

The plotting diagram features two views of the diamond: the crown view from the top (left image) and the pavilion view from the bottom (right image). The crown and pavilion orientations show how the face-up view corresponds to the face-down view.

A plotting diagram is a map of a diamond’s clarity characteristics. These are the blemishes that reside on a diamond’s surface and the inclusions which are internal characteristics. The diagram is an important part of the GIA diamond grading report for D-to-Z color and colored diamonds. It documents the diamond’s present condition, supports the diamond’s clarity grade, and because no two diamonds will have the same diagram, it serves as a means of identification. When plotting the diamond, each category of clarity characteristics is assigned a color. The colors and markings help identify each type of characteristic:

  • Red: indicates most inclusions

  • Red and green: when used together indicate cavities, indented naturals, knots, etch channels, and laser drill-holes

  • Green: indicates naturals

  • Black: indicates extra facets

Here is a key to various symbols you might see in this section:

Some clarity characteristics are not plotted on the GIA reports if they are widespread or faint, or they are not needed to support the clarity grade or identify the diamond. However, they may be mentioned under Comments. Listing Order for Characteristics:

  1. Laser drill-holes, if present

  2. Grade-setting inclusions

  3. Other inclusions

  4. Naturals

  5. Extra facets

If you would like to begin your investment journey with us and are curious about what the steps would be to begin, email us at


Please email FCD Invest at to discuss your personalized long-term investment strategy. For more information on Fancy Color Diamonds as an investment, please visit our Fancy Color Diamond informational page linked here.

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